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Food Wastage in Singapore



Credit: Grand Cornett

Individuals are seemingly taking granted of food, a basic necessity for survival as we become more affluent. The availability of 10-course meals and lunchtime buffets are rising trends in food dining that individuals are willing to pay. But food is more than just a sustenance for our living. It is for social relations, an indicator of social status & lifestyle, for celebrations and a connection to familial ties. While the growing affluence enabled us to have a higher standard of living, it also made us more indifferent to the severe implications that wasting food entails. It seems to be that we have adopted the mentality to discount the practice of being conscious of food consumption just because “we can afford it.”

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) defined food waste as “[the] decrease of food in subsequent stages of the food supply chain intended for human consumption.” Thus, we can safely conclude that food wastage occurs throughout the whole food supply chain right from the production level right to household consumption! Lesser food available for all ensues ultimately regardless if the decrease or discarding is intended or purely unintentional.

So where does Singapore stand in the field of food wastage? The wide variety of cultural food – Chinese, Indian, Malay, Western and Peranakan cuisine – contributes to Singapore’s identity of a cosmopolitan city-state and a well-recognised food paradise. By importing 90% of its food sources, Singapore has also earned herself a reputation for being food secured through her sound governmental policies. However, an ugly truth lurks behind her close doors amidst these glories – Singapore’s second identity of as a food wasteland. 145kg of food waste is generated per person annually, which is equivalent to 2 bowls of rice tossed out every day! Taking into account the severity of food waste, my blog is dedicated to shedding light on the causes of food wastage in Singapore, and offer some measures that hope to relieve the consequences of the effects arising from food waste.

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